The Man: Jackson Maine, rockstar
The Woman: Ally something, waitress and singer who only sings at a drag bar dressed in drag
The Woman’s Only Friend: latino GBF
The Manager: Sam Elliot -big reveal!- Jackson’s much older brother
The Other Manager: British boy, Ally’s manager
How they meet: He happens upon the drag bar, sees her perform and because he’s famous is allowed in the dressing room to meet her
Repeated Line: when he drops her off after their first night and before he kills himself “Hey. I just wanted to take another look at you.”
Her career: singer/songwriter/popstar, recording and performing
The proposal, wedding, and honeymoon: She tracks him down at a friend’s house in Atlanta, where she forgives him for his shit once again, at the dinner table with these people she just met, he slips on a ring he just made out of a guitar string (how dare they not play ‘Guitar String / Wedding Ring’ by Carly Rae Jepsen right now), quickie wedding in a church with his friends, no one she knows, no honeymoon period.
His first fall: He picks a fight with her when she’s in the bathtub?
The awards show: drunken speech, no physical violence
His second fall: no relapse post-rehab, I guess he had enough fuck-ups already
His suicide: hangs himself in the garage with his belt, instead of showing up at her final show
Final Declaration: “Hello, I’m Ally Maine.” followed by epic Gaga performance
Alright. Here we go. It’s been 42 years since the last one. Times have changed. It’s the era of #timesup and #metoo and breaking the celluloid ceiling and feminism is running wild and Lady Gaga, feminist activist who stands up for LGBT+ and sexual assault survivors is the star. Ya, this one is gonna flip it on its head! Damn the man! Girl power! Let’s do this!
Ya… I never believed any of that would happen. This movie begins with Ally yelling “Fucking men!” in a public washroom and frankly should have ended there. She spends the rest of the movie letting men tell her what to do, seeking their approval, forgiving their behaviour, and putting them before her. I’m so done.
It’s 2018 and we’re still writing women characters like this
In this age of Hollywood where nothing is original, everything is a remake, reboot, franchise, adaptation, someone was looking through old movies for ideas of what to remake and thought- you know what hasn’t been remade in a while? A Star is Born. Ya, let’s add a third remake to that. And let’s specifically remake the 1976 version which is inarguably the worst version. (If it weren’t for Babs singing throughout that movie, it would have been unbearable.) Good plan, Hollywood! Okay, so you’ve decided to remake a movie which originated in the 30’s, specifically remaking the version from the 70’s. The version from the 70’s which changed quite a bit from the first two films, to update it for the time and make something a bit more original. So, 42 years later, you’re going to really change it up again, right? Update it for today’s social climate, switch some genders or ages, add a more diverse cast, find ways to inject some feminism and social awareness into the characters and plot? Nah… Let’s make the same fucked up misogynist shit they made in the 70’s but we’re gonna change her name to Ally and put her in a drag bar because we know drag is real hip now, and we’re cool with that. Give her a gay latino best friend for diversity. More women? No, that seems unnecessary. She’ll stand out more if she’s the only female in the entire film… You can see why, even if I hadn’t just watched the first three movies, I would be SCREAMING throughout this one.
I already knew, having heard how terrible it was, but I am still shocked that they didn’t change the character or major plot points to make the whole thing less of a nightmare for women to watch. Still, she falls for this mess of a man, gets swept off her feet, does as he says, follows him around, asks him for advice, does what other men tell her, sacrifices for him over and over, forgives him over and over, stands up for herself once, and then forgives him again, almost sacrifices her whole career for him, and then after he kills himself still acts like she owes it all to him by declaring “I’m Mrs. Norman Maine.” / “I’m Ester Hoffman-Howard.” / “I’m Ally Maine.” because it’s still all about him. I’m still screaming. Imagine me screaming this in your face because that is how I am delivering this. Ask my coworkers. The whole office got an earful when they innocently asked me “What’d you do this weekend?"
Before I leave the 2018 version I just have two more things I have to scream at you- HIS VOICE!!!??!!!! I was baffled and howling with confused laughter when I realized oh he is really going to do this voice the whole time- and then when Sam Elliot literally accuses him of stealing his voice?! I died. This is way worse than when I watched whatever Batman movie with Bane and could not take him seriously because what the fuck is that voice. And finally, the hill I will die on in any A Star is Born (2018) discussion… SHALLOW IS NOT EVEN THE BEST SONG IN THIS MOVIE. This song won an Oscar?! “Sha-la-la-la-la-la-low” won an award?! No song featuring “Sha-la-la” should win any awards except something like “Most Underrated 90’s Bop” which is awarded to “Shalala Lala” by The Vengaboys. ‘Always Remember Us This Way’ and ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ are the only things I want to live on from this movie.
So, what did I learn after my weekend of watching Stars being Born? We really need to start making some new fucking movies, ladies. We don’t need any more stories of a woman being the leading lady yet somehow still second to the man’s story line. No more women succeeding only by a man’s permission. No more women sacrificing for undeserving men. No more! Please, someone write the antithesis of this movie in which Lady Gaga is a vigilante hunting down men who oppress and control women, which she will direct and win the fucking Oscar.
I can only end this with the last viewing note I wrote down; AAAAHHHHHHH